Speed Reads

pain at the pump

New forecast predicts spring surge in gas prices, followed by sharp drop

A new forecast from price tracking app GasBuddy predicts "pain at the pump will get worse before it gets better," CNN reports. This latest prediction estimates the national average gas price will peak, CNN writes, at "a monthly average of $3.79 in May, before finally retreating below current levels by late 2022."

"We could see a national average that flirts with, or in a worst-case scenario, potentially exceeds $4 a gallon," Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, told CNN. According to AAA, the current national average gas price dropped to $3.29 a gallon on Monday.

A continuing increase in gas prices would serve to amplify the inflation currently plaguing American families, who are dealing with rising costs at the pump and the grocery store. Much of the surge has to do with the roaring economy, in which demand "continues to recover from COVID much faster than supply," writes CNN.

"The economy is hot. Demand has come roaring back. But supply is still catching up after getting cut greatly in 2020," said De Haan.

The "good news," however, is that GasBuddy does not believe high prices this spring will stick around. The current forecast "calls for gas prices to stay elevated at $3.78 a gallon in June and $3.57 in July" but then fall "sharply as demand cools off," writes CNN. By December, the app "expects gas prices will average $3.01 a gallon nationally, which is below current levels."

All that said, of course, there's still plenty of uncertainty to grapple with, and plenty of possibilities that could alter current predictions. "Anything could change," De Haan added. "Tomorrow there could be a ridiculous variant and prices could plummet."